Tag Archives: jello

Fourth of July Strawberry Pretzel Jello Destiny

Now, I don’t believe in fate or destiny in the strictest sense of the word.  But there are sometimes when coincidences happen that seem too big to just be random.

For awhile now I’ve noticed that my post on my grandma’s rainbow jello salad is one of my most popular posts, and thought that I should post on something else jello-related.  People all over the web are apparently just dying to spend 24 hours making an artistic jello casserole.  So I was thinking about my other favorite jello dish, that my aunt used to make as a dessert for family gatherings – Strawberry Pretzel Jello “Salad”.

It’s this weird concoction of a pretzel crust (like a graham cracker crust but with a touch more salt), then a cream cheese and Cool Whip center, and a strawberry Jello topping.  It all comes together to be a surprisingly good layered dessert, and kind of a throwback to the jello-mold days of old.

Now here comes the coincidence.  Did anyone see the recipe from the winner of Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery Contest?  It’s a layered dish with Rudi’s bread and ginger snaps as the base of the crust, a sweet goat cheese filling, and a sweet strawberry topping.  That looks exactly the same as the Strawberry Pretzel Jello “Salad”!

Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery Winning Dish

So I obviously am now destined to make this strangely addicting dish again, and luckily I have a get-together today that I can bring it to!  I modified this recipe slightly to make it healthier and gluten free, of course.  I also halved it, since I 1) don’t own a 9×13 pan, and 2) didn’t want to carry a giant pan on the mile walk to the party.

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad – Gluten Free Version

1/2 cup crushed Glutino gluten free pretzels

1/2 cup crushed Trader Joe’s gluten free ginger snaps

1 tsp. sugar

4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (could also substitute cream cheese, I was trying something new)

1/4 cup sugar

4 oz. Cool Whip

1/2 package strawberry jello

1 cup boiling water

1/2 package frozen strawberries (I substituted some fresh strawberries)

Mix first three ingredients and press in bottom of a 8×8 pan. Bake at 350 degrees (metal pan) or 325 degrees (glass pan) 8 minutes. Let cool completely.

Beat 1/4 cup sugar and cheese. Fold in Cool Whip. Spread over pretzels (at this point I transferred to a tupperware container for easy traveling).

Mix Jello and water until dissolved. Add strawberries. Stir into Jello, then set aside for 10 minutes.

Pour over cheese mixture (it will look too liquidy, but it will set up). Chill.

I’ll add a picture of it plated later, but for now it’s getting packed up and ready to party!

I also encourage you to test the Cool whip to ensure it’s thawed properly by dipping a few in as the crust bakes 🙂

I should have added blueberries to this to make it a true red/white/blue dessert.  But I think it looks pretty patriotic as it is 🙂 Happy Fourth of July!


Paying Homage to Rainbow Jello – Naturally Gluten Free

For Easter weekend, I went home to Michigan to celebrate and eat with my wonderful, loud family.  One of our Easter traditions is the Jello Ribbon Salad.  My grandmother made this salad every year to perfection, and I don’t think that any of us appreciated the labor that goes into it until this year, when we had to fend for ourselves.  My cousin graciously offered to make the dish this year, and I think that she’ll pass the torch to me for next year.  Considering this takes about 48 hours and almost constant monitoring to make, it is definitely a labor of love.

This is one of those 1950s hold overs that’s reminiscent of women wearing aprons, men with crew cuts, and kids hula-hooping in the backyard.  If you have idle hands, or want to make a crowd-pleaser dessert – take a stab at it!

Update (7/2011) – This is the original recipe from my grandma’s cookbook.

Happy (belated) Easter, and may your family traditions live long and prosper 🙂

Rainbow Jello salad

Rainbow Jello Salad:

5 (3 oz. each) pkgs. Jello, any 5 different flavors
5 c. boiling water
10 tbsp. ice water
10 tbsp. sour cream

Dissolve one package Jello in 1 cup boiling water.  Pour 1/2 cup into bowl and add 2 tablespoons ice water.  Chill until set in ring mold or pretty glass serving dish (we use a glass brownie pan).  Blend 2 tablespoons sour cream in remaining Jello and pour over gelatin in mold.  Chill until set, about 20 minutes.  Repeat with each flavor of gelatin remaining.  Pour into mold until ribbon is completed.

Time: about 48 hours.

Serve with a big dollop of whipped cream.